Japanese cuisine is well known for being delicious, yet costly, especially the higher end restaurants located in hotels. Did you know, however, that you are able to find the same food in hawker centres, for a fraction of the cost?
Address: #01-59, Ang Mo Kio 628 Market, 628 Ang Mo Kio Street 61, Singapore 560628
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday 11am to 8pm, closed on Sundays
I chanced upon this hawker stall and was amazed by how cheap all the food was. The dazzling array of food included katsudon (pork cutlet bowls) and signature dishes salmon or teriyaki chicken bento (single portion meal) all starting from only $3! I decided to try the teriyaki chicken bento, which came with shredded cabbage, tempura (deep fried dish), a bowl of rice, miso soup, and of course, chicken. The chicken was tender, completely drenched in teriyaki sauce. However, I was surprised to find that carrots were used instead of sweet potato in the tempura. Konomi Zen sure lived up to its tagline of ‘Restaurant standard, Hawker price’.
Address: #04-41, Beauty World Food Centre, 144 Upper Bukit Timah, Singapore 588177
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 11:30am to 8:30pm, closed on Mondays
Buta Kin offers various Japanese curry and ramen (noodles), most not more than $6. I tried the Special Tonkotsu Ramen, which came with pork belly, black fungus, half boiled egg and seaweed. The roasted pork slices were amazingly succulent and the yolk of the egg was perfect, not too runny or firm. The black fungus strips added a good crunch, while the noodles were a little too soft. Overall, it was a extremely reasonably priced at only $6.90, with an enticing presentation, and I’ll definitely be back for more!
Give these two hawker stalls a try, or even the many others dotted around the country, and you will soon come to see how Japanese food doesn’t have to be expensive to be tasty! Personally, I find it ridiculous how restaurants charge over the top prices for tiny portions of food, when one can discover a multitude of options right at the heart of Singapore, in humble hawker centres. Just take a look around, and you will see how our nation has been dubbed the ‘foodie’s paradise’.
Jocelyn (4 Justice)